Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Banks Take Aim at Regulation

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Banks Take Aim at Regulation

Article excerpt

About 35 New Jersey bankers will go to Washington this week to express concerns to senior-level regulators about increased oversight since the Dodd-Frank law was enacted in 2010.

Separate meetings are scheduled on Wednesday with Martin J. Gruenberg, acting chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel K. Tarullo; and Jennifer C. Kelly, senior deputy comptroller for midsize and community bank supervision in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

John McWeeney, president of the New Jersey Bankers Association, said on Thursday that usually only 20 to 25 go on these annual treks, but interest is greater this year as regulatory changes continue to take shape.

The meetings, expected to last an hour to an hour and a half each "are timely and relevant," McWeeney said. Typically, the regulators give short talks and open the floor to questions.

"To their credit, the regulators want to hear from the bankers," McWeeney said.

The group will meet on Tuesday afternoon with representatives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new regulatory agency established by Dodd-Frank.

Although Dodd-Frank was enacted in 2010, many of its requirements have yet to be implemented, and many of the rules and regulatory guidelines the law calls for have yet to be written. Community bankers are eager to make themselves heard. Many complain that they are being asked to make expensive changes to the way they do business and to pay added compliance costs because of mistakes made by larger banks and non-bank lenders.

This year, the New Jersey bankers group was among the first 10 state associations to join the Friends of Traditional Banking, a community banking super PAC based in Salt Lake City. The super PAC will buy ads to help elect congressional candidates who support policies favorable to smaller banks.

The group plans to buy ads to try to influence outcomes in the upcoming November elections, mainly in small, less expensive media markets where huge sums will not be required, according to Mike Affuso, the New Jersey group's director of government relations.

Affuso sits on the super PAC's 12-member advisory council. …

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